State study begins on Route 32 signal Light could be installed in year at Springfield Ave.

June 14, 1996|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

The State Highway Administration has begun a traffic study that could result in a temporary signal at Route 32 and Springfield Avenue in Sykesville.

Crews are gathering traffic counts, measuring sight distance and reviewing accident data. The study should conclude by the end of August.

"If signalization is warranted, a signal could be installed within a year," said George Miller, state traffic engineer.

But, the light will be temporary, a short-term solution to traffic congestion that increases as each new development is completed in the town of 3,000 people.

Residents concerned about safety at four high-traffic intersections with the highway urged the state to do the study.

"A light will bring some relief," said Vince DiPietro, a Clark Drive resident who has led efforts to improve traffic safety and alleviate congestion on the town's narrow, winding streets.

"It is a compromise," DiPietro said. "I think a light will also increase traffic at the intersection. People have avoided that crossing and used town streets."

Mayor Jonathan S. Herman has worked for a new road that would give traffic at the north end of town safer access to the highway. The state has offered to pay $400,000 of the cost, but the project is stalled until the county obtains easements from Fairhaven Retirement Community.

If a new road had been built, plans had called for closing Springfield Avenue.

"A light at Springfield is very far from a proper solution," Herman said. "It is one of the most blind corners."

Councilman Garth Adams said a temporary light at Springfield will become a nightmare for commuters, who travel the highway to reach Interstates 70 and 95.

"The state needs to design intersections as though 32 was already a four-lane highway," he said. "There should be cloverleafs and overpasses. The state should look farther than the end of their noses."

The highway administration also is conducting a study on Route 32 from I-70 to Route 26 in Eldersburg. Results will figure into decisions on widening the highway.

"Vocal and angry citizens want to make 32 a safer road," Herman said.

Pub Date: 6/13/96

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